During the 2020 season, Major League Baseball amended to rules to allow for teams to add substitute players to the active roster without adding them to the 40-man roster or having to option them back to the minor leagues or expose them to outright waivers.
So, in the technical sense, Phillips is not part of the Reds 40-man roster. Now, that may change between now and his next scheduled start because Brandon Williamson is slated to return from the IL on Tuesday.
Connor Phillips to get another start despite not being on the Reds 40-man roster.
According to Bally Sports contributor Annie Sabo, Brandon Williamson draws the start for the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday in Detroit and Connor Phillips will be on the hill Wednesday night against the Tigers.
After Alejo Lopez and Carson Spiers were returned to the minor leagues, Phillips is the only substitute player remaining on the Reds active roster. There's a chance that Cincinnati could "return" Phillips to Triple-A Louisville on Tuesday in order to activate Williamson, only to turn around and select his contract on Wednesday.
The Reds will need to add Phillips to the 40-man roster this winter anyway in order to protect him from December's Rule 5 Draft. However, if Cincinnati were to select Phillips contract before his next start, a corresponding move would have to be made.
Currently, the Cincinnati Reds are carrying just 13 pitchers and 15 position players on the active roster. Follow his absence from the Reds lineup the past two days, there's always the possibliity that Noelvi Marte could land on the 10-day IL after being struck in the face by a baseball during pregame warmups on Saturday.
Whether Connor Phillips is added to the Reds 40-man roster before his next major league appearance will be something of a wait and see, but the good news for the right-hander is that he'll get another start in the big leagues. Phillips went 4.2 innings and allowed six earned runs in his first start.